CHELSEA Logistics and Infrastructure Corp. submitted an unsolicited proposal to modernize the Sasa Port in Davao City. — PPA.COM.PH

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is aiming to award original proponent status (OPS) within the third quarter to Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. for its proposal to modernize the Sasa Port in Davao City.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago told reporters last week the private proponent has completed all documentary submissions required for its P11.2-billion unsolicited bid to rehabilitate the port.

“We’ve concluded the process for determining the completeness of the submission… After that, there will be negotiations for the terms of the proposal. Pag nagka-agree na kami (Once we agree), then they will be granted the OPS… We should be able to conclude that no later than the end of September,” he said.

The listed firm led by Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy submitted last year its unsolicited bid to modernize the Sasa Port over a 25-year concession period, which will run in four phases.

Chelsea President and Chief Executive Officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy had told reporters earlier that the company wants to rehabilitate the Sasa Port’s existing facilities and install modern equipment such as quay cranes for cargo handling.

The original proposal was returned to Chelsea last year to make amendments on the engineering design to consider previous initiatives to rehabilitate the Sasa Port.

Now that Chelsea has completed its revised submission, it must start negotiations with the PPA on the scope and details of the project, after which it may be awarded OPS.

“We’ll give them 30 days from their receipt of the letter of confirmation that their submission is complete (to start the negotiations),” Mr. Santiago said.

“We have 30 days. But the instruction of (Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade) is the entire negotiation process should not exceed 60 days,” he added.

After receiving OPS, the proposal of Chelsea will be turned over to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for evaluation. If it gains the approval of NEDA, the proposal will go through a Swiss challenge where third-party firms may submit competing offers that it may match.

Mr. Tugade had earlier said he wants to develop more ports across the country to improve interisland connectivity and facilitate trade.

Aside from Chelsea’s proposal for the Sasa Port, PPA is also entertaining a letter of intent from Razon-led International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) to modernize, operate and maintain the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas in Iloilo.

It also has an unsolicited proposal from Davao-based private terminal operator Kudos Trucking Corp. to rehabilitate the Port of General Santos.